Welcome to Kalamata
Welcome to Kalamata - The city of the black olives
Kalamata is located in the southern part of the Peloponnese, and, as administrative center of the regional unit of Messenia, it is the second most populous city of the peninsula. Situated far from Athens (279 km), it goes the length of the Nedon River, at the head of the Messenian Gulf and takes place on the former Laconian city-state of Farai, the one of the famous Iliad. Kalamata has always been well-known for the high quality of its black olives, that's why, between the Mount Taygetos and the sea, the olives groves spread as far as the eye can see, it is quite fascinating and beautiful obviously ! There, you will be able to savour two varieties of olives, the table ones, said "Kalamon" and the "Koroneiki" ones used to produce olive oil.
Founded by french knights during the fourth crusade, the city has been occupied by the Ottomans from 1481 to 1685 and from then, the Venetian Republic ruled the Kalamata as part of the "Kingdom of the Morea". During this period, the city was fortified and thrived economically. Eventually, during the war which took place in 1715, the city was taken again by the Ottomans and controlled by them until the Greek War of Independence in 1827.
Informations and facts
Kalamata's point of reference is the "Castle of Isabeau", a monument built in the way of the greek amphitheatre, on the site of the Farai acropolis and it gives a bird's eye view of the city. You must also visit the Modern Greek Art Gallery, in which you can observe many exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and carvings created by locals. What's more, the pretty Railways Park offers many exhibitions of old motorcycles and railway wagons that you can observe before taking a walk at the spacious central Vassileos Georgiou (King George) square to have coffee in the pedestrian walkway of Aristomenous Street.
Eventually, you should also go to the Historical and Folklore Museum, a monument which has almost been ruined during the 1986 earthquake, but the building has been renovated and provides a game of memory and imagination in order to preserve the history and traditions of the local communities.
Kalamata provides a Mediterranean climate, that is to say, wet winters, and dry and hot summers. Nowdays, the maximum temperature recorded reaches 42.6 degrees. Therefore, if you are willing to spend an afternoon on the seaside, this is the perfect place to be, you can swim in a crystal clear water, a beach which has been granted the Blue Flag award of quality.
Kalamata's cathedral of Ypapanti is situated beneath the Castle of Isabeau, this is where the festival of Ypapanti takes place, which is of national importance of the Greek orthodox world. The church was founded by a handful of greek immigrants in 1915 who desired to maintain their proud heritage in the church of their motherland. The first festival was held in 1984, and consisted in sharing greek traditional food. The city is full of events during summertime, above all cultural events, theatrical perfomances and concerts in the amphitheatre. Futhermore, you can enjoy the carnival events of "gaitanaki" (Maypole dance) in the city's central park.
If you want to hang out at night our for the lunch, you absolutely have to go the marina, which is a real oasis of tranquility. Situated close to the harbour, you can find many quayside and ouzo restaurants or tavernas specialized in fresh fish obviously! Nonetheless, the seaside doesn't offer only restaurants, but bars, clubs and water sports. All tastes are satisfied !